Advertising From Ancient Times to the Era of Integrated Marketing Communications

Advertising the art of selling a product or service through modes of communication, some of which existed in ancient Rome where crudely drawn or painted messages were left on walls touting a variety of businesses. The Romans used this method as well as wall posters for political campaigns during the time of the Republic. Even before that, the Egyptians used papyrus sheets to make sales. Some have suggested that Neolithic cave paintings constitute a form of advertising, touting the prowess of hunters.

The birth of modern advertising

A man named Thomas J. Barratt of the Pears Soap Company of London is said to be the father of modern advertising in the early 19th century. He introduced the concepts of targeted phrases and images to advertise the virtues of Pears Soap. He also introduced the concepts of brand images, saturation campaigns, and market research.

Around the same time, Volmey P. Palmer of Philadelphia started the original version of an advertising agency. He would buy advertising space in newspaper in bulk at cut-rate prices and then sell the space at a markup to businesses that wanted to advertise their products. The businesses in question were still responsible for laying out the images and text of their ads. That situation changed as ad agencies took over the task of ad layouts and planning campaigns.

Advertising in the 20th century

As technology advanced, advertising found itself showing up on more media. In the 1920s and 1930s, spoken ads on the radio showed up. Television soon followed in the 1950s and then cable television in the 1980s.

The greatest media advance in advertising took place in the 1990s with the rise of the Internet. Modern technology and social media have allowed advertisers to target the audiences of the ads, based on real-time web viewing habits and what they tend to buy at online retailers such as Amazon.com. Media has become divided into “traditional media” or newspapers, magazines, television, and radio that used mass saturation strategies to sell goods and services and “online media” to try to target the most receptive audience for the products/services being sold.

Advertising in the integrated marketing communications age

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is defined as advertising that ” … recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”

What exactly does that mean?

The University of West Virginia suggests that IMC represents a shift from the more traditional types of advertising employed in the “Mad Men” era that emphasized the mass market with various media being used separately to something that is more integrated. One example used was run by Toyota a few years ago using a fictitious couple, with two kids, called the Sienna family. First, Toyota ran a traditional ad campaign on print and TV that added an invitation to view a YouTube video. The video featured Mr. and Ms. Sienna performing a hip-hop song with their Toyota minivan. Thus the traditional modes of advertising were integrated into the newer, social media form. The YouTube music video has received millions of hits from potential customers who had self-selected themselves as being interested in buying Toyota automobiles. The other key to a successful IMC campaign is its use of multiple platforms to tell the same story, in this case showing a young, attractive family, how they enjoy their Toyota minivan, and how you could too. The Sienna Family campaign was considered one of the most successful of 2010.

Advertising and marketing have come a long way in a short period of time. Each year, new advances in technologies and ideas change the way audiences hear about a product or idea. McAllister Marketing keeps abreast of all the latest marketing trends and customizes their proven strategies and approaches with each and every client. For more information contact us.

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